Jamie Bell reunites with Elton John in Rocketman
Jamie Bell found fame when he was merely a teenager, winning accolades for his performance in Billy Elliot (2000).
The film was subsequently turned into a musical with Elton John writing the music and Lee Hall providing the lyrics.
Bell, 33, reconnects with John and Hall in Rocketman where the former served as producer and latter as screenwriter.
On his history with Elton John and his music
I met Elton when I was about 13 at the Cannes Film Festive in 2000 for Billy Elliot's premiere. At the reception afterwards, he came over to me and the director, and he was shaking and weeping. The film really connected with him. Elton identified with the relationship between Billy and his father.
Elton is a special person in my life. He was one of the first, real, megastars that I had ever met, and I appreciate him so much more knowing his life and what he has come through, his circumstances and everything that he has achieved.
On his character Bernie Taupin
Bernie and Elton wrote almost everything together. There was a part where they separated and wrote with other people, but predominantly, all the songs that people know and love, the lyrics were written by Bernie and the music by Elton.
They famously never collaborated in the same room, supposedly. Bernie would write the lyrics and then send them to Elton. Elton would compose the music and set the songs, and record the songs, and that's how they worked for many, many, many, many years. It was incredibly successful.
I do not know what was the thing that clicked in them.
Clearly, Elton saw something in the words that expressed what he could not. It is this beautiful, harmonious marriage. It is kind of lightning in a bottle.
On his contact with Bernie
If you are playing someone that still exists and is around, I think it is the right thing to make contact with him and say, "Hello, this is what I intend to do. This is the script. What do you think? What are your thoughts? How would you have done this?" Bernie was generous with his time and his thoughts.
On Bernie being Elton's rock
The amount of inner turmoil Elton has to live with throughout his life is incredibly challenging, so to have someone like Bernie, who is just persistent and consistent, is important. The way Elton talks about Bernie is so loving. The bond is profound.
On Taron Egerton transforming into Elton John
It is miraculous what he has done. His singing voice is outrageous. It was good before, but I think the strength in his voice now is quite remarkable.
It is a true transformation, and it is not an impersonation either. I think he is brilliant.